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Before the March

Prior to the Birmingham Children’s March, civil rights leaders had attempted a similar campaign to fill the city’s jails with protesters. But for adults, the consequences were much higher; those arrested risked losing their jobs or even their lives.

After years of racist leadership, spearheaded by the notorious Bull Connor, Birmingham was facing significant change. Local business leaders, concerned about the city’s international reputation wanted to change the city’s leadership. The resulting election, however, left Birmingham in an odd situation: When the newly elected mayor took office, the previously elected officials refused to leave. The city had two separate governments operating simultaneously. Neither group could get anything done and the city was politically paralyzed.

| Government | Project C

Photo: Protest outside a lunch counter, Birmingham ©Birmingham News. Used with permission.